Indianapolis, IN---As the nation’s health care system transitions to more integrated and patient-centered care, hospitals are utilizing information technology to better connect disparate care providers, according to the 16th annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks. Community Health Network, a pioneer in the use of information technology to improve patient care, has once again been recognized as one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals for 2014. Community is a 14-time recipient of the award.
Community, like 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals, shares critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. Most Wired hospitals, those that meet a set of rigorous criteria across four operational categories, have made tremendous gains by using IT to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Among Most Wired hospitals, 81 percent of medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order via bar code technology at the bedside.
“As consumers become more active in healthcare decision-making, healthcare systems must be transparent in both quality and price,” said Ron Thieme, Ph.D., chief knowledge and information officer for Community Health Network. “At Community, there is an emphasis on connecting patients throughout their delivery of care so that at every point the patient feels like everyone is working together for the best possible outcome.”
Among some of the key findings related to improving quality and patient safety:
- Nurses and physicians share best practices for patient safety and use checklists at more than 90 percent of Most Wired organizations.
- To help consumers make better decisions about their health care, standard measures of individual hospital quality performance are reported and publicly available. Nearly half of Most Wired organizations share this information on their websites and 86 percent provide quality scores to clinical leaders on a regular basis as part of their performance improvement initiatives.
“The Most Wired data show that shared health information allows clinicians and patients to have the information they need to promote health and make the most informed decisions about treatments,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “Hospitals, their clinicians and their communities are doing tremendous work to enhance their IT systems in ways that support care and delivery improvement, and patient engagement goals.”
"Hospital leaders should be commended for the hard work they've done under an unrealistic time frame,” stated Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, referring to federal requirements that health care providers adopt and meaningfully use certified electronic health records (EHR). “Still, there is a substantial amount of work ahead. Effective C-suites view IT adoption as a collaborative effort. They have a clear strategic plan and know how IT fits into that."
To that end, nearly all participants in the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study have an established health IT project governance process and evaluate existing workflow processes and desired outcomes.
The 2014 Most Wired Survey also covered the evolution of new models and payment from the IT perspective. As health care delivery moves to a value-based system, it will require more and better use of data analytics, care coordination and population health management.
- 36 percent of Most Wired hospitals aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record.
- 71 percent of Most Wired hospitals manage care transitions compared with 57 percent of all responding organizations.
- 43 percent of Most Wired organizations integrate clinical and claims data so that they are accessible, searchable, and reportable across the care community.
"As we talk about collecting data, one of the critical competencies is making sure you have views of the clinical and financial sides,” said Rose Higgins, senior vice president and general manager, population and risk management at McKesson Technology Solutions. “You need both to be successful. Seeing them together will provide a better picture of what's happening at the population health level and will be important as hospitals take on more risk."
- 69 percent of Most Wired hospitals use tools for retrospective analysis of clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving the quality of care and reducing the cost of care delivered.
“Healthcare professionals need to be free to communicate virtually across teams and to patients,” said Tad Reynes, regional vice president, AT&T Business Solutions. “Providing tools to do so can potentially reduce costs, simplify workflows, improve patient care and offer a better experience to users.”
- 35 percent of Most Wired hospitals use social media to deliver care management messages and 40 percent provide mobile applications for secure messaging with patients.
Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between January 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals, or more than 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.
About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions and doctor’s offices, as well as workplaces, schools and homes. As a non-profit health system with over 200 sites of care and affiliates throughout Central Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, specialty and acute care hospitals, surgery centers, home care services, MedChecks, behavioral health and employer health services. To learn more, visit eCommunity.com or call 800-777-7775.
About the AHA
The AHA is a nonprofit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
About the Most Wired Survey
The 2014 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association.
About the Sponsors
McKesson Corp., currently ranked 15th on the Fortune 500, is a health care services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of health care run better. The company partners with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers to improve their financial, operational and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, health care information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit www.mckesson.com.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
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The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior health care IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and more than 85 health care IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and health care in the communities they serve. For more information, visit http://www.cio-chime.org.